Mining and Mineral Leases
   

DNR considers mining and mineral applicants with the experience and the financial capability to fully explore and develop a property to production, if the site warrants it. This helps to generate good financial return for trust beneficiaries and supports applicants able to properly follow relevant and protective rules and regulation.
 

Mineral prospect leases

Mineral prospect leases are issued with the anticipation that if your exploration is successful, substantial royalty income from mining may be returned to the beneficiaries of the specific trust parcels when the minerals are mined. 

Mining contracts

If a site proves fruitful, a mining contract is required before minerals can be mined. Applications to convert a mineral prospecting lease to a mining contract can be submitted anytime, up to 180 days before the end of the seven year lease period, if you can satisfy conversion requirements.

Coal option contracts

One-year coal option contracts may be issued by the Commissioner of Public Lands when doing so is in the best interest of the State. A maximum of 250 tons of coal can be removed with this contract as its intent is to allow sampling and testing rather than mining. To apply, you'll need a plan of activities which, at minimum, would include:
  • The type, location, schedule and depth of drilling;
  • Location and extent of other activities such as trenching, and adit construction;
  • Proposed roads;
  • Proposed reclamation including the methods to plug and seal drill holes, and adits;
  • Proposed erosion control for roads, landings, drill locations and trenches; and
  • Proximity to surface waters.

Coal mining contracts

A coal mining contract is required before coal can be mined. Applications to convert a coal option contract on state uplands to a coal mining contract can be submitted anytime before the end of the one-year contract period. Your contract will be converted to a coal mining contract if you can satisfy conversion requirements.

Criteria 

 
Qualifications
To be successful in your lease or contract application you'll need to demonstrate:
  • Formal education or documentation of the equivalent of two years of post high-school education in earth science, geology, mining, or other related field from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in the exploration for potential, commercially viable coal or metallic mineral, industrial mineral, or aggregate properties (as is appropriate for the application you are seeking).
  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in mining engineering, mining, or mine/property development of a commercially viable mining property.
Validity
All applicants, except those applying as an individual(s), must be authorized to do business in the state of Washington. A valid UBI number from the Washington State Department of Revenue is required on the application from all businesses. This includes corporations or other businesses that are licensed to do business in other states or counties. 
 
Financial capability
You must demonstrate at least one of the following:
  • Documentation of the ability to conduct and fund initial exploration to determine the potential of a mineral prospect.
  • Documentation of the ability to obtain capital for mineral exploration and/or development of a commercially viable mineral prospect.
  • (Mineral prospecting leases only) Documentation of ability to joint venture or contract with others who have the ability to obtain or provide capital for mineral exploration and/or development of a property leading to production of a commercially viable mining property.
History
Those not converting a mineral prospecting lease to a mining contract cannot apply for or receive a new mineral prospecting lease for the same lease area until a year after the prior lease's experation date.
 
Verification
To apply for a lease or contract you'll need to provide:​
  • All supporting documentation, and
  • Proof of liability insurance, and a performance security upon signing the contract.